Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pretty Princesses

These pictures will definitely be making it onto Andrew's future wedding video :)

The picture we didn't get... but was my favorite... was Andrew twirling and twirling around in his princess skirt.

The princesses admiring their outfits

This only lasted for about 5 minutes and then Andrew went back to driving cars and playing with his flashlight... my neighbor and I were dying laughing as the princesses twirled around and around and Andrew kept bringing me different princess dresses to try on. Unfortunately his manly arms and shoulders were took big for the top of the dress and he didn't like the feel of the puffed sleeves :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday's Update

Eventually I probably won't need to bring my camera to every hair cut... but I haven't gotten to that point yet. I finally got on the ball and got haircuts scheduled for both of us this week (I haven't had one since the first week of June... but now one is scheduled for Friday- yippee!).

Little dude loved getting gel in his hair at the end of his cut

Every friend that he saw this afternoon got a little half bow (so you could see his head) and then he'd yell, "see my haircut?" I also loved how he was so social with the hairdresser. "You like Thomas?" "Hi, I'm Andrew, how are you?" "You see my boo boo? I got it at the park"... yada yada.

We also went to virtues class this afternoon. Little dude survived the hour and a half and wasn't too rambunctious... especially considering we haven't been outside hardly at all this entire week and the dude has tons of pent up energy (my large pregnant self and 100 degree heat just don't mix).

I led about ten kiddos in a craft at the end of virtues class. We made leaf friends. :)... since the class theme this month is all about being unified (and I have lots of Fall craft supplies). I drew the circles and legs... just in case you were wondering. He doesn't have that advanced of skills yet :) He did do the hair and eyes on one of the leave people though.

We also attempted to take a picture at the end of class... these were the best we could get and I thought they turned out pretty cute.

The little virtues class is put together by my neighbor who is of the Baha'i faith. The Baha'i community places a huge emphasis on the moral and spiritual education of children. The prayers that they read each week are beautiful and have great messages. The curriculum they try to teach is geared more towards 1st graders (though most of the kids are aged 3-5)... so we don't make it every week. I think it is fascinating to learn about the Baha'i faith though and my neighbor joins me at many of our church functions... so we have great spiritual discussions together. I love the diversity of religions represented within the virtues group as well.

I ended the day eating popsicles with Andrew (bc that counts as dinner when it is 100 degrees outside, right?), making more pumpkin cakes, delivering pumpkin cakes to my neighbors (so that I wouldn't eat all of them), and then hanging out with the YW at church chatting about dating, marriage, and the upcoming Homecoming dance until around 9pm. Wow! I have forgotten how much energy 15 year-olds have. I WISH I could bottle some of it up and drink some every morning!

I am excited because tomorrow we have the entire morning free! Maybe somehow making it look less like a tornado hit my house will make it to our agenda?... but I doubt it.

I am sooo looking forward to hanging out at my house ALL WEEKEND and just watching General Conference in my pajamas!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Living it Up

I have a feeling I might take a maternity leave from throwing little parties and having lots of people over once baby Caitlin comes... so in the meantime, Andrew and I are living it up and we're trying to pack in as much fun with friends as we can. Andrew's been so excited about this new plan that he likes to stay up all afternoon during naptime bouncing on his bed.

He was soooo hyper during our afternoon Fall craft class/party today. He ran around knocking kids over that were in his path and spun in circles, jumped on beds, furniture, and chairs, and then at other times he would just yell from pure excitement.

For our little crafts we made acorn stained glass windows and leaf owls. They looked really cute, but required a lot of parent help.

I love having lots of Andrew's friends over and inviting new people and not really limiting the number... so today was total chaos :) I think we had about 13 kids plus moms... so probably over 20 people at our house at one point. I loved having so many people to chat with and catch up with... but my internal heater (aka baby Caitlin) totally slowed me down a bit. I felt like I was in a sauna even though our air conditioning was going full blast. I also never really sat down or stopped moving... so that probably didn't help.

Unfortunately Andrew felt semi-neglected while I was having fun socializing and decided to get my attention with all sorts of negative behaviors. He was very successful, despite all my knowledge of behavior management... and I totally fed his crazy behavior by not paying attention to his good behavior (bc I was distracted). It is nice to be put in my place and be reminded often by my little sweetheart that I'm not as great of a mom as I think I am sometimes. ;) I think he even pinched me, pulled my hair, and hit me at different times today. Might be pulling out my CPI skills on him soon.

After craft time, we decorated leaf sugar cookies that I had made. Andrew was adorable earlier in the day before his "nap" (where he never slept) and he helped me cut out all the cookies. Once they spread out in the oven, the leaves looked like snowmen, but they tasted good!

This was my favorite cookie decorating picture. She definitely enjoyed her frosting!!

These little guys had fun with the sprinkles and frosting as well.

All the awesome moms helped me move tables back, sweep the floor, pick up toys, and put things away while we chatted... so when everyone headed home about two hours later... I didn't have much of a mess to clean up. Everyone also brought supplies to contribute for the crafts, so it made coordinating the activity a lot easier. I love my friends! Now I just need to organize a Girls Night so that I can hang out and chat with everyone without totally sabotaging my behavior plan with Andrew :) (Good thing my ward is throwing me a big baby shower this week so I can get my wish!)

I'm not quite sure if you can sprain the top of your foot throwing a party, but I do know that I'll be spending the evening with my feet up because one of them is really hurting and I wouldn't be surprised if they are both swollen before I go to bed. Ah... the sacrifices we make for parties :)

At least I felt cute all afternoon. I finally found my leggings and broke out this newer outfit. A nice change from my usual daily maternity uniform.

All this "living it up" is making me exhausted! Good thing I have a few hours to relax before the partying starts again tomorrow.

Pumpkin Bars!

As most of you know, if a dessert doesn't involve chocolate, I'm not usually that interested in it... but these are an exception. Kevin even asked if I was going to put chocolate chips in them (which I might at some point), but I actually like them so much I didn't want to ruin them by adding chocolate this time. I got this recipe from my friend Laurie and absolutely love it.

I was up til 1:30am working on a project and these definitely gave me the energy to plug along! :)


1 ½ cup flour

1 ¾ cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp salt

½ C oil

1 can pumpkin (15 oz)

3 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine all bar ingredients.

Beat at low speed until moistened, then beat at medium speed until blended.

Pour into greased pan and spread evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING (I just used canned Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting bc I was lazy)

2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 c butter, softened

1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 Tbs milk

1 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Beat on high until smooth. Spread on cooled bars.

Yield: 24 bars

(The picture above is not of my bars. I baked mine in my heart-shaped silicon molds... and then either ate or gave most of them away... so there wasn't any time for photographs :)!

I think I'll be making them again tomorrow for our YWs activity though. So delicious!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Boys, boys, boys!

All of a sudden there are tons of boys at church close to Andrew's age! It is so much fun! I think I have been completely oblivious or something... because most of the boys aren't new, but all of a sudden all of them are more capable of playing together and being little buddies. It is adorable.

We decided to start a little weekly boys playgroup so that the boys can hang out together and the moms can take turns getting a morning off. There are probably 8-9 boys between the ages of 2-3, but the playgroup only worked out for 5 of us... so it is the perfect size.

I hosted for the first week. I was amazed at how quickly the two hours flew by (I'm sure the moms having a break felt the same way!). We spent the first 30 minutes playing with all the toys in our big "playroom" (empty living room) downstairs... then we moved up to the train room (Caitlin's room).

Then the boys moved into Andrew's room and all took turns being amazed by the Great Penguin Race toy. They could sit and stare at that thing forever. Unfortunately we lost one of the penguins... so there were only 2 penguins... and 5 boys. I loved how the little guys mostly played alone alongside one another (with some talking)... unless someone entered into their sphere and seemed to threaten to take something they thought belonged to them.

Andrew just jumped on his bed and watched the other kids play with his toys.

After about an hour of playtime, we did playdough...

then snack time
(both great, semi calm activities where there was minimal arguing or sharing issues).

Andrew loved having a captive audience to tell all about his "boo boo"... he even tried to get one of his friends to kiss it.

After snack time, I attempted a craft with the boys and it was actually a success. We made Fall collages and they were very open ended and a no-fail sort of project. All of them managed to make something in between rides on bikes and sliding down the slide.

The highlight of the morning was playing hide-and-seek. I would close my eyes and count to ten... and they would all go hide in the same place together.

When I would finish counting, they would all run towards me and tell me where they were... and get so excited! Then we would play again... and again.

We finished up the morning with bubbles... and then moms started to arrive.

I think I lucked out having the first week... when everything was new to everyone and they weren't really comfortable yet. It'll be interesting to see how the dynamics change over the next few weeks.

I am excited for my Monday morning off next week!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lots and lots of Camping Pics

Just in case you were worried that I wouldn't have enough documentation our first ever camping trip with Andrew... rest assured :) Pretty much every moment is now photographed for posterity.

Yesterday evening we headed up to Mt. Diablo with Corene, Rick, and Athen. We arrived before the sun went down and explored the campsite, climbed some rocks, and then set up camp before it got dark.

Andrew was super excited that he got his very own tent. In fact, he had two tents (a tent w/in a tent)... and spent the whole trip talking about how he got to sleep in two tents.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner put together by the Binghams and we sat around and talked and then ate tasty treats.

Hanging out by the fire

Little dude loved wandering around with the headlamp on and checking out all the bugs that come out at night-- especially moths, beetles, and some grasshopper like things.

He also serenaded us with Beatles music and turned several large sticks into pretend guitars for his jam sessions.

My handsome hubby getting everything all set up... while I sat around and chatted with Corene.

Corene brought the biggest marshmallows I have ever seen for s'mores. I was worried Andrew would never go to sleep and be hyper all night from the sugar... but the newness of camping made him completely hyper all night anyway... so it didn't matter. Little dude couldn't sit still, he was SO EXCITED to be camping!

The s'mores were delish!

It started getting later and later I was worried that we might have a meltdown from the little man, so we got him all bundled up in warm sweatpants and a sweatshirt and got him all situated in his peapod tent. Before he went into the tent he started saying he wanted to get in the car and drive home, so I was worried that he wouldn't go to sleep... but after we kissed him goodnight we never heard from him again until the morning. Athen went to sleep right away too. We were amazed. Must've been all that camping air and running around!

After the kiddos went to bed, we stayed up playing games and eating treats until after midnight. It was so fun! I was amazed (considering how loud we were being) that none of the kids ever woke up.

I had a reasonably good sleep for being so pregnant and actually was really comfortable... but then couldn't fall asleep for awhile anyway (maybe it was the insanely loud crickets?). Eventually I did though... and we all woke up around 7am- much later than I was expecting! At girls camp last year the girls woke up before 6am each day, so this camping trip was a treat. I am definitely a fan of sleeping in a tent. The bathrooms at the campground were amazing too (for camping bathrooms). They were clean, had TP, and were not far away from our campsite- perfect for a pregnant lady!

Little dude woke up SO HAPPY, super excited to still be camping, and even more stoked that there were bugs flying around our tent that he could check out! He even kicked me out of my bed.

We spent the morning climbing around. Andrew LOVED Rick and had fun hiking and climbing on the rocks and trees with him and Athen while Kevin & I got breakfast ready.

I am the king of the mountain!

The grillmaster made loads of yummy pancakes and I made scrambled eggs with cheese.

This pic was taken about 5 minutes before Andrew fell forward off the chair and his entire breakfast landed on the ground. It was really funny.

Our campsite was in the perfect location... right near some cool rock formations with caves. This was where Andrew wanted to be all the time.

The weather on our trip was amazing... just a little chilly at night and then got warmer and warmer this morning. Perfect camping weather!

Little man helping take down camp

While Kevin loaded our stuff into the car and took down tents and stuff, Andrew and I did a little camping and bug scavenger hunt that I made.

Then the guys did even more climbing

Andrew thought it was so cool to be up in the tree with Athen and Rick

Although Kevin liked teasing me before we left that I was pretty much bringing our entire house camping with us... we didn't really forget anything and we were completely comfortable... so all my overpacking was worth it!

After we packed up camp, we went hiking up the Summit Trail and discovered the Rock City trail that Kevin has been wanting to explore.

We found massive pine cones... and tons and tons of poison oak (I am praying none of us get it)

more caves

Athen was such an adorable little explorer and crashed in the backpack once we got going.

Andrew and Kevin climbed high up into rock crevices and had the best time. We will definitely be coming back again!

Proof that I went camping in my large and in charge pregnant state :) Notice my hugely red face. This was taken after over an hour of hiking uphill... sometimes carrying Andrew. He didn't really buy the "Mommy's already carrying baby Caitlin so she can't carry you" line we kept trying to give him... especially after he had a little fall.

Athen passed out before we got to Rock City- so cute!

The boys

We only had one or two cranky toddler points on our hike (which ended up being about an hour and a half or so)... but Corene (or "Kareem" or "Cream" as Andrew likes to call her) was able to turn Andrew's frown upside down with a few of Athen's yogurt melts.

before the yogurt melts

After our big hike, we had lunch and the boys goofed around on the trees. The camping area was a toddler's dream come true.

We headed home close to 2pm and Kevin spent the ENTIRE drive singing and banging things in Andrew's face so that he would stay awake. Andrew kept trying to close his eyes... he was so tired...but our house was only 20 min away. Once we got home and showered, Andrew and I both took naps. The little dude was so wiped out he slept for THREE hours!

What a fun trip! I am already excited to go camping next summer! Andrew is at such a perfect age to be such a great little camper... especially because camping involves many of his favorite things- bugs, birds, sticks, rocks, and dirt!

Thanks Binghams for such an awesome trip!!